One of the many wonderful features of diabetes is the sheer, damned boredom of it all. Diabetes is generally about the day to day uneventful plod of checking our blood glucose and balancing carbohydrate and insulin intake. While there are sometimes the exciting peaks and troughs of extreme hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia – which do, admittedly, add a certain frisson of excitement to the daily toil – generally not much of any interest happens.
The one glimmer of interest that appears briefly through the fog of general boredom is the gadgets. In my limited experience, it’s common among diabetics, especially of those within a certain demographic (I’m essentially talking men in their 20-30s here), to have an ongoing obsession in the latest shiny stuff marketed to the pancreatically-challenged hoards by our favourite friendly pharmaceutical conglomerates.
A great example of this is the hype concerning the new Bayer Contour USB glucose meter within the blogosphere (I really hate that word – it creates an air of an important, unified community of useful social commentators; which, of course, we all know doesn’t actually exist; most blogs – especially this one – are made up of an ill-informed, soupy conglomeration of poorly written rants and miss-enlightened opinions that no sane person cares about. But I digress).
Anyway, lots of people have been burbling on about how they’re looking forward to Bayer’s new funky colour screened wondrousness arriving on the market for our joyous consumption. All this goes to prove my point – us diabetics love our gadgets and shiny things.
So, with this in mind, why are the insulin pens us pump-challenged people depend on so damned ugly?
For example, I was idly examining my lantus-enabled AutoPen 24 earlier today and noted its vile, tacky cheap plastic feel. It really is a horrible pen – like something you would win in a disappointing set of Christmas crackers. Similarly, my Lilly HumaPen “Luxura” which I use on a daily basis to squirt humalog into my stomach is hardly as luxurious as the name implies. If, to use an tenuous analogy here, luxury is defined as the Presidential Suite of the five star Balmoral hotel in the heart of Edinburgh then the so-called “Luxura” pen is a threadbare, slightly sticky carpeted, one star Travel Tavern situated near a busy junction on the Norwich bypass. Not so good.
Over the next ten years I’ll stick in just under 15,000 injections (unless I finally get my pump, but that’s another story). So please, beloved pharmaceutical companies, please can you come up with a pen which looks great, works well and helps to stave away the horrendous boredom of diabetes!